Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



In past years, the Baton Rouge Air Quality Control Region has struggled with compliance of ozone standards. In June of 2003, the Baton Rouge Five-Parish Ozone Non-Attainment Area was classified as severe under the 1-hour ozone standard. In July of 2012, the EPA classified the area as marginal non-attainment for ozone. Although this is an improvement from its severe classification, studies have shown that health effects of air pollution can be detected at concentrations lower than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Additionally, clinical and epidemiological studies have shown that a majority of the criteria pollutants negatively affect cardiovascular and respiratory functions, with many epidemiological studies finding an increase in hospital admissions associated with increases in ambient air pollution. The intent of this study was to examine the relationship between air quality in the Baton Rouge Air Quality Control Region and cardiovascular and pulmonary hospital admission rates between the years 2000- 2011. A multivariate regression analysis was run to examine the relationship between daily averages of O3 and PM2.5 and total hospital admissions for diseases of the circulatory and respiratory systems for all zip codes in the five parish area. Lag 0 (same day) showed that increases in hospital admissions were significantly associated with a decrease in ozone (p<.0001) and an increase in particulate matter (p=.0002), while lags 1, 2, 10, and 20 showed no significant association between pollutant levels and hospital admissions. A second multivariate regression analysis examined the relationship between same-day air pollution and hospital admissions surrounding the Baton Rouge Capital air monitoring site, since this was the only monitoring site that collected data for each of the criteria pollutants. Out of the five pollutants examined (O3, PM2.5, CO, SO2, and NO2), increases in only O3 and NO2 were statistically significant (p<.0001) in association with the number of hospital admissions. Both showed that increases in pollution levels were significantly associated with increases in hospital admissions.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wilson, Vincent L.